Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just a spoonful of sugar...

I don't know a lot of people who go through as much sugar (or flour) than I fact, if I do today's scheduled baking then I will have completed 10kgs (that's 22lbs) of flour in less than a month. That's right...less than a month!!! Crazy eh? Things have been busy here!

Anyway, back to sugar (which we all know I love!)...I was recently inspired to make a Jalapeno Popper Cheesecake by Redpath as they are running a contest where you enter a recipe using an unusual ingredient (and sugar, of course!) I must apologize for the lighting but I couldn't wait over night to try it and the light was gone by the time the cake was was tough but we got through...

Just look at that Red Pepper Jelly peaking out from inside the Cheesecake. Don't deny're drooling aren't you? ;)

Here is the recipe...

Jalapeno Popper Cheesecake for 4
1/4cup + 1/4tbsp crushed lime tortilla chips
1 1/4tbsp melted butter
1/4 tbsp Redpath Granulated Sugar

1 package cream cheese
1/3cup Redpath Granulated Sugar
1/4 jalapeno pepper
1 large egg
1/2 vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4c hot pepper jelly

Bring ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 4.5" springform pan and cover in foil to keep water out.

Crush tortilla chips. Reserve 2tbsp for later. Mix in sugar and drizzle in melted butter. Spread evenly over bottom of pan. Bake 6-8mins to set crust. Cool.

Pulse 1/4 of jalapeno pepper in a food processor with sugar until granulated.

Beat cream cheese until smooth, gradually add the sugar jalapeno mixture. Beat until combined. Add egg, lime zest and vanilla. Beat on low just until blended.

Warm hot pepper jelly in microwave. Pour 2/3 of the filling into pan. Spoon jelly on top. Top with remaining filling. Run a knife through to get a more marbled effect.

Place springform pan in 8" cake pan. Put in oven and pour 1" of hot water into cake pan.

Bake 45-55mins or until it is slightly browned (centre will jiggle slightly). Turn off oven, prop door open with a wooden spoon and cool for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove from oven and cool completely. Unmold and refrigerate for 3-4hours. Drizzle top with pepper jelly and sprinkle remaining crushed chips on top.

I almost forgot to mention that Mr. CB, who believes that baked cheesecakes are bad loved this recipe! It's not super-spicy but has a lovely flavour to it...looking for a little zest in your dessert? This will do it!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mini-Chef Sundays

Sometimes, when I take pause and see all the photos that I take and then I think about the ones that I don't is quite overwhelming. Several months ago, we started using a chore chart. Included on the chart is Sunday night cooking...the kids alternate Sundays where they pick a recipe and we work together on it.

It's incredible because, it's fun! We all enjoy it! Sean sings, Sarah and I were doing squats while making meatballs (her pants were falling down while we were rolling meatballs)...sometimes, I just can't get over the entertainment that goes on here!

Anyway, this is Sarah making supper a few weeks ago...
Here she is doing some assembly work...
Look at this personalized taco dip with Scoops Chips...
We have had some pretty fantastic meals prepared by our mini-chefs...spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese (not from a box), panzarottis and pizza from's all good. It's a little extra effort and it takes a little bit longer but it's definitely worth it...


Monday, September 27, 2010

Woah!!! Post 400!

Soo...I was thinking...I can't believe I have posted 400 blog entries thus far! That is incredible! I am at almost 20,000 hits since I began this goal this year (first time I ever set a goal) was to do at least 10 entries a that's 120 for the year...and here it is, the end of September and I'm at 113 for the year already!!!

So, does that mean I get a couple of months off? Haa! Naa...even if you wouldn't miss me I'll still be around...after all I have some pretty big things coming up! I am especially excited about my Fashion Forward Workshop in October! There are still a few spaces available you should sign up! This one is for 8 years and older...yes...Carol, you can come...I know how you love fashion and crafts! ;)

Onto today's it is...we must really love pirates around here...
This crab was just too cute to not acknowledge!
And the back...
I have learned a lot this year. A lot of it has to do with the week I spent with Klara Johnson...that was SO fun! Wow...what a great year it's been so far!

Well, that's all for today.


PS the cake is Vanilla with Cookies and Cream Filling and Chocolate with Cookies and Cream Filling. My kids were at the party where it was served...they approved!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fashion Fun

This party was actually last weekend (I don't really know what happened to the last week!!!) The birthday girl requested a fashion theme SO we made lip gloss (of course!), hair clips, paper purses and decorated cupcakes!

Here is the birthday girl with her clip and cupcakes...
And a friend...isn't she the cutest???
Finally...our purses...these were fun! We heat embossed them so that they would be shiny (think leatherette) the girls drew designs on the powder before we heated it...
Those are my know...sometimes I wonder...who likes doing crafts more. Me or the kids???


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Momma Said...

Yes, Momma said there'd be days like this!

I was asked about a week ago if I'd do a Transformers Cake...specifically? Either Optimus Prime or Bumble Bee. After some deliberation and going back and forth, I landed on the idea of doing a cake similar to that of my Sesame Street Cake (it's one of my favourites). I love the design...and the simplicity of it I suggested that I could do something similar for either Bumble Bee or Optimus Prime or better yet, BOTH! Sadly, they only needed enough cake to feed 12 people so they decided on Bumble Bee.

I really wanted the cake to be tapered so, I baked 2 8" rounds and a 6" round. I filled them, stacked them and started sculpting. Then the unthinkable happened...the top layer cracked! I thought, it's okay, I'll cover the cake and see if I can't fix it. Well, the crack showed through. So then, I filled the crack with extra fondant and covered it a second time thinking as the fondant cured it would hold the whole thing together. Uhhhh, nope! My husband described it as continental drift. I suggested that even my camera was embarrassed (hence, the bad picture!)

How on earth could I turn this lumpy, bumpy hunk of cake into the cool, clean, sleek lines of Bumble Bee I was looking for? The cake was for Friday. I turned to my husband on Thursday and asked him if I should do a redo. (this is what I do when I don't want to do what my self is telling me to do...)

So, I pulled myself together and I started over with the deadline looming and knowing that I couldn't work Friday morning as I have been attending Niagara Adventure Boot Camp for Women on Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings for the last 2 weeks and to top it off, Friday was an early release day so the kids would finish school at noon...drat! Alright, back to the cake.

I rebaked it and recovered it...then I set the 2 side by side and was super relieved that I had gone is the preliminary cake...
Then I added a bit of detail...And some Transformer Font (did you know there was such a thing??)I like looking at him from the side best because you can see the height on his eyes.
I hope Rylan and his party guests enjoyed their cake because I loved making it! I love most of my cakes but this one is special because, to my knowledge, there isn't another out there like it....and that makes me proud.

So, yes, Momma did say there would be days like this but then one of my clients once told me (and I now use in times of craziness)...'I am unflappable...' Maybe not but it helps keep me calm!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Funky Forty!

Well, the party is today so I'm going to post these photos now! Oh and sorry for the was late when I finally got to take these photos.Sometimes I get a call for a limitations or restrictions...sometimes it makes it tricky and other times I just have a little fun! The only request for this cake was that I include an image of the Birthday Girl that was designed by her partner.The top tier was Chocolate with Cookies and Cream filling and the bottom tier is Lemon Cake with Lemon filling.

Happy Birthday Lisa!


And the Winner is...

Sorry it took me a bit to post this on my blog but I have been trying to figure out how to do a Screen Print on my Mac...I love my Mac but I'm still learning my way around here!

SO, it is number 5! That means that Jennifer Kozak-Gray won! Jennifer is SO excited! Here is what she had to say...
Jennifer Kozak Gray I am so excited! Thank you Heather & Erin for having this wonderful contest. My daughter & I can't wait to get baking=)
Yes, she did write out her own name...So, Jennifer has sent me her address and I will ship the cookbook out on Monday...for the rest of you guys...
Go buy this totally fabulous cookbook!!!

(If you count out 3 for Jeannie and 3 for Jennifer on the original blog post as they are both fans of Creative Bug on Facebook and The Happy Baker. I added all of those who entered through Facebook to the bottom of the list creating a total of 45 entrants).

Enjoy your cookbook Jennifer!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Beginning

I know I have been pretty quiet about the article I posted a few weeks ago but things have been crazy. I just need you all to know that these 2 lovely ladies are still pulling together donations and themselves as they look forward to 'A New Beginning'.

I am currently collecting door and raffle prizes for a Pub Night here in Beamsville;
Oct 2nd, 2010
Doors Open: 7pm

To buy tickets or to donate prizes please contact me @ or

Read more about Lisa and Jade here;


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Happy Baker Give-away Recipe #4

Gosh! I have to admit...I didn't even try this one but Mr. CB assures me it's the best he's had in years...the best cheesecake that is! Sean's choice was I forgot to mention I was married Blueberry Cheesecake! Since it was his sister's night to cook supper he decided that he would love to make dessert.

The crumb crust...
The blueberries...there was the cream cheese part in there too but I didn't get a photo.
Spreading extra crumbs on top...such a proud boy!
Finally, dessert!
We did not make any substitutions for this one...I do buy special cream cheese for the boys but we decided to go wild and let them take their Lactaid Pills. The kids loved dessert but it's off to Mr. CB's work tomorrow as it's hard to say what may happen if the two of us (the cheesecake and I) are left alone tomorrow!



I have been asked a number of times about wedding cakes and my standard response is "I haven't done any yet..." and that usually sends any potential bride to be running the other way! It's not that I am not willing but I am a little afraid of potential 'bridezillas' and their mothers.But in this case, I was approached by a friend ordering cupcakes for her brothers seemed so much more innocuous so I jumped on the chance! I had to pack everything up though and leave the true delivery to my friend as the wedding was in London.
She told me that her cousins would be doing the work and said something about christmas lights at one of their weddings...(in a less than happy they were up for the job!)
All those cupcakes in one place make me smile...there is just something about cupcakes...that make me smile!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creative Kids Go Back to School! Happy Baker Recipe #3

Well, it was a cool day here at Creative Bug HQ. Today was Simon's first time joining us at the table! We also had another little friend join us for the first time.

So here is Simon stirring up some chocolate to make Haystack Cookies from my copy of The Happy Baker...A Dater's Guide to Emotional Baking. You have until Thursday to enter to win an autographed copy for yourself...check it out here!
Here is Sean hamming it up and 'sneaking' a pretzel for the camera while he and Mr. CB figure out the best way to break up the pretzels a bit for our haystacks!Some of our picture frames from the day...
So, today we made frames, a scrapbook page and Haystack cookies! Guess what the kids have in their lunches for snack tomorrow?!

Yo ho ho! It's a Pirate's Life for me!

Our house is overrun by Pirates and's so true...I couldn't think of 2 themes to match our childrens' personalities more. Sarah is often found to be bubbly, sensitive and fun-loving. Sean is out on look for adventure, a good fight (and not necessarily a fair one) and loves a challenge. Simon works hard to steal the show from Sean, isn't afraid to keep up with the others and has his own treasures that you daren't touch!

Sean and I have been working on this for sometime...neither of us is an artist but we sure are happy with the outcome. You should try creating art sometime. It's not as hard as you think...
Gramma CB painted the mini-chest of drawers, Mr. CB painted the frames and carefully chose the fabric to go in them.
More painting from Gramma CB...she sure is awesome isn't she?
Finally, today's big accomplishment...using the vinyl I bought months ago to create exactly this...
Isn't it wonderful when a project turns out exactly how you planned? I even used a level to make sure that the letters were straight (my rough attempt was very crooked!)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Happy Baker Give-away Recipe #2

The Happy Baker makes Happy Children!

Well, here it is...Recipe #2 in my Happy Baker Cookbook Trial! There has been much debate in choosing recipes! This recipe was selected by one of the contest entrants. I happen to know that she is lactose intolerant (as are our boys) SO, here it is...not just lactose-free but vegan too!Here is Simon...enjoying the results!
These guys had already eaten theirs but wanted to be acknowledged...they loved them too!
We will be baking in Creative Kids tomorrow for our Back to School watch out for more Happy Bakers here at Creative Bug HQ!

Oh and don't forget to enter the contest! For more details, look here!


The Happy Baker Give-away Recipe #1

So while flipping through my new Happy Baker Cookbook...this recipe caught my eye Choca-Mocha Squares. This no-bake recipe had ingredients I have on hand...or so I thought. But when looking for graham crackers, I had problem, I use Oreo Crumbs...oh but there aren't enough...SO...sub in some Animal Crackers (gosh you'd think I'm Old Mother Hubbard!)Now due to our 2 lactose intolerant children I had to sub-in margarine (the right kind) for the boys is vegan or lactose-free.
And my mixed up ingredients made this decadent looking (I don't know...) base? Yum! It was warm and sweet and just plain yummy! I could have eaten this by the spoonful alone.
But wait...there's more! Icing! I was a little sad about the colour...I wish I had darker cocoa powder. I use Fry's...any suggestions for a nicer, darker chocolate?
This is on page 60-61 of my new cookbook! You can win this cookbook! See here for contest details.


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Happy Baker - Cookbook Giveaway!!!!

You know...when I entered the Redpath contest, I entered to win. And I fought hard and managed to hold my own thanks to all of you and some of your friends. I wanted to thank you all for being so supportive. You have no idea how much it means to me. To know you are all there (even if some of you mostly just lurk...I lurk quite a bit too, I understand.)

But I met someone on the Redpath Page, someone who I quite frankly expected to be the big winner of the Redpath contest. But she wasn't...I bet her recipe is awesome though...'cause well, she seems pretty cool. I recently got a package from her (I ordered it...and you can too!)

I was pretty freaking ecstatic coming home with my package...I almost ripped it open at the post office but I managed to contain myself.
There's a little treat inside both the books I got...I got 2 books. for me and one for one of heard me! And because she is just starting out she couldn't just give me the books so she autographed them as a treat!
She dedicated her book to her Mom...nice eh? I might have to do the same if I ever published a book...but, I don't see that in the cards for me so I will live vicariously through Erin for now!

The book has 4 delicious, I mean absolutely scrumptious chapters! And along with her wonderful sounding recipes are stories about love and love's fun to read...I just took a break from reality and read a bunch of them...I am dying to know what happens next but I am distracted by the recipes (trying to choose one to try you know!)
So, if you see a recipe there that you think I should try, let me know...and I just might! Over the next week, I will be trying out these recipes and giving you all time to enter to win, 1 autographed copy of Erin Bolger's book.

So, here's how you can win...
1. Leave a comment here and tell me what recipe you think I should try (maybe if you're local you'll get to try it too!)...I will make it a little easier and open up my comment restrictions for you.
2. Join Creative Bug's Facebook Page (if you haven't already) and let me know that you are a fan here by leaving a comment on this post.
3. Join The Happy Baker's Facebook Page (if you haven't already) and let me know that you are a fan here by leaving a comment on this post. -Let's give Erin some good Canadian Love (did I mention she's Canadian and her book is SELF published - my hero!)

Thank you Erin for letting us do this...I can't wait to try out some of the recipes in the book...I've got my eye on one I'd like to do today...does it seem like too much to bake 4 days running?

Tell all your friends! Contest closes Thursday September 16th at midnight. Good luck!!!


PS. You must be over 18 years old to enter...
PSS. Go buy the book for all your friends at Chapters!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Upcycling and t-shirt dresses...

There is this artist/designer...she is fantastic! I have been watching her creations come out for sometime now...her company is called lil blue boo. Not only does she sell these fabulous dresses but she has a few patterns as well including the hoodie I made a while back! (which I see now are no photos of it on my blog...soon, I promise!) There are other patterns as well you should definitely check her out! I almost forgot to give credit to my friend at Stacy's Creations Photography for this first photo!Anyway, I love the idea and the fact that I can make Sarah a custom, inexpensive wardrobe by using old t-shirts and other scraps of knit fabrics (I got both the hounds tooth and blue striped fabric for $2/m!!! Crazy eh?)
I tested out a ruffling technique for all of my hemming I found here. It was easy but a little time consuming when it came to the bottom hem of the dress!
I used the hood part of my hoodie pattern...I promise, I will show it to you soon! But the rest was all mine.

I am particularly proud of the cap sleeve overlay on the long was a vision I had to try!I had a lot of fun making this dress...what made it particularly special is that Sarah helped me design it...she helped pick fabrics and choose where they went...I hope she loves it and wears it now!